The world has been enjoying tea for more than 5,000 years. But only since 1995 has biodynamic, fair-trade certified tea been available. That year in Hampstead, a famous London hillside village known as a breeding ground for progressive ideas, Hampstead Tea began.
The majority of our tea comes from the Makaibari estate in India’s Darjeeling province. It is the world’s first certified biodynamic estate and the last owner-managed estate in the district. Here, 66% of the acreage is undisturbed rainforest where tea grows in harmony with the area’s natural ecological system.
Hampstead Tea was born from a friendship between our director, Kiran and the owner of this estate, Rajah. Exasperated by the quality of most available products, she visited Makaibari. She saw the lush and thriving land, tasted the outstandingly pure teas and decided that it would be selfish to not share them.
Because of this experience, Hampstead products, including our herbal teas, are biodynamically grown. We also trade ethically with all our suppliers because we understand it’s our duty to help where we can.
All of our teas are certified Demeter, which is the highest standard for sustainable agriculture. It is often called “organic plus” as this method includes proactive farming techniques such as herbal soil preparations, rigorous composting systems, and alignment with a planetary calendar.
Biodynamic agriculture was conceived in the 20th century by the philosopher Rudolph Steiner. It is a naturally organic, holistic practice that seeks to maximise farm output while ensuring it is also self-sustainable. Special attention is given to balancing the farm with soil, plant, animal and cosmic processes in order to ensure continued harmony. At Hampstead, we believe that this is the way forward for agriculture and our biodynamic teas are a salute to Steiner and his work.
We like to do our part to help those who make it possible for us to enjoy such wonderful tea. So we’ve made it a point to support Fair-trade. Fair-trading ensures that a portion of the money from every kilogram of tea goes directly to the farming communities to fund social development programmes. These include village-electrification, education initiatives and medical care facilities. At our partner Makaibari estate for example, the disbursement decisions are taken by a joint body formed mainly by women workers empowered to represent their villages.
Our teabags are made with non-chlorine bleached paper. Tags are stitched to the bags with string, not glue or staples. This ensures no contaminants come between you and your cup of tea. We use a state-of-the-art machine to achieve this rigorous standard.
All of our packaging is fully recyclable and made with non-chlorine bleaches.
Hampstead Tea & Coffee Ltd
The Hampstead Tea & Coffee Company